The Governor of Texas on Thursday signed a bill prohibiting social media platforms from deleting posts because of their political views. The move is likely to trigger a major legal scrutiny given that a similar law was previously blocked by a Florida court.
Under the new rules, major platforms such as Facebook and Twitter cannot remove, restrict displays, or otherwise moderate content due to the political views expressed by the user. Social media will also need to post regular reports showing how often they received complaints about content and how often they removed posts.
Individuals can sue social media for breaking the law, as can the state’s attorney general. The law applies to companies with more than 50 million monthly active users in the United States, and it applies to everyone who lives or does business in Texas.
Similar proposals have surfaced in dozens of states across the country this year, reflecting dissatisfaction with Republican voters with rules restricting what they can say online. The Texas law states that it prohibits Internet censorship and equates social media with highly regulated carriers. The most popular social networks in the US, including Facebook and Twitter, have not yet commented on the new law.